Previous research has shown daily salt intakes in Turkey to be far above the recommended limits. Knowing the sources of dietary salt could form a basis for preventive strategies aimed towards salt reduction. This study aimed to investigate dietary sources of salt in Turkey. A sub-group (n
= 657) was selected from the PatenT2 study population, which represented the urban and rural areas of 4 major cities (Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, and Konya). A questionnaire inquiring about sociodemographic characteristics, medical histories, detailed histories of diet, and salt consumption was completed. Participants were asked to collect a 24-h urine sample and to record their food intake (dietary recall) on the same day. Of 925 participants selected, 657 (71%) provided accurate 24-h urine collections, based on creatinine excretion data. The mean daily 24-h urinary sodium excretion was 252.0 ± 92.2 mmol/day, equal to daily salt intake of 14.8 ± 5.4 g. Of the 657 participants with accurate 24-h urine collections, 464 (70%) provided fully completed dietary recalls. Among these 464 participants, there was a significant difference between the 24-h urinary sodium excretion-based salt intake estimation (14.5 ± 5.1 g/day) and the dietary recall-based salt intake estimation (12.0 ± 7.0 g/day) (p
< 0.001). On the other hand, a positive correlation was obtained between the dietary recall-based daily salt intake and 24-h urinary sodium excretion-based daily salt intake (r
= 0.277, p
< 0.001). Bread was the main source of salt (34%) followed by salt added during cooking and preparing food before serving (30%), salt from various processed foods (21%), and salt added at the table during food consumption (11%). Conclusively, this study confirmed a very high salt intake of the adult population in four major cities in Turkey. The present findings support the emerging salt reduction strategy in Turkey by promoting lower salt content in baked bread, and less salt use in habitual food preparation and during food consumption in the home.
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